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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

5 Star Review for Moruya Hospital Close Observation Unit

The Beagle Editor

Doctors and nurses are working under immense pressure to try to get their regional patients the cardiac and other specialist care they need at major hospitals which is not available at smaller regional hospitals.

I recently spent six days in Moruya Close Observation Unit awaiting a bed in The Canberra Hospital (TCH) after chest pain.

My Dr, Derk Bass, was so kind and caring, advocating on my behalf several times every day to convince the Canberra Hospital to give me a bed. He even tried Sydney hospitals, but I was turned away.

I admired how calm and respectful he was in handling frustrating situations, and remaining assertive and positive.

He took the time to explain tricky aspects of my condition and care, to listen, to get to know me, and to answer my questions. I felt secure in his knowledge and experience and in capable hands.

When I had a panic attack out of frustration at being denied medical care in Canberra, he took time to talk things through and offered great emotional support. Dr Lisa MacIntyre was also a great source of information and comfort.

The blood test team who struggled with multiple blood tests and inserting a cannula into my problematic veins were patient and understanding.

From my bed I observed the whole nursing team being friendly, patient and caring, while being professional and attending to every detail of care, down to ice packs for hot sweats. It was obvious that they enjoyed working together and loved their work. I felt teary to leave this safe refuge as the paramedics wheeled me out for patient transport to he Canberra Hospital (TCH) .

Thank you Moruya Hospital for excellent service of a high level, but most importantly for looking after the whole person, not just a medical condition.

Sadly the wait for a bed in Canberra Hospital (the only avenue for public patients from the South East and other regional hospitals) is becoming a strain on all levels of the health system.

After six days at Moruya Hospital I was transferred by patient transport to The Canberra Hospital (TCH) where I waited for four days of fasting for an angiogram for chest pain.

I had been tempted to discharge myself from Moruya Hospital against medical advice and get privately driven to be admitted at TCH through Emergency, but was given strong advice not to take the risk.

At the Canberra end, staff at TCH said that they are overwhelmed and cannot care for patients properly without enough beds, staff and resources.

On the sixth day I was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit at (The Canberra Hospital) TCH via patient transport and reattached to an ECG monitor.

Level 1 emergencies were overwhelming the unit. One lady died in the bed next to me after a huge team intervened in response. A man in another bed near me had his heart stop beating for 27 seconds. I heard his snoring go silent and called out to see if he was ok. Nurses rushed to respond and an interim pacemaker was implanted quickly.

I was later sent to an ordinary ward with a spare bed without a cardiac monitor to make way for those in more critical conditions.

There I fasted for 3 days without water, hoping for an angiogram, but emergencies overwhelmed the facility each day. They fitted me in on the fifth day.

For others it can take even longer unless their condition worsens to become a top emergency. In the meantime, patients are tying up beds and resources just waiting for treatment, costing far more than being treated in a reasonable time and sent home. Others cannot access the treatment they need, and their condition could worsen. "Emergency departments have been swamped by record numbers of the most seriously ill or injured patients, and almost 100,000 people sit on elective surgery waitlists as NSW hospitals buckle under the overwhelming pressure". (Canberra Times, March 1, 2023)

An aging population and the backlog of elective surgery that was postponed due to Covid is contributing, but hospitals are vastly under-resourced for both staff and facilities.

What is an appropriate wait time in an emergency? How long must patients wait for less urgent but important procedures while they fill a bed that someone else needs?

Building the desperately needed new hospital at Moruya has not even started due to Covid limitations.

Decent health care is an essential for everyone, and politicians should be funding the health care system properly.

With an election coming up, now is a good time to contact our local MPs to let them know that it's time our entire health system was overhauled to meet the ever increasing needs of our aging population.

Hats off and 5 stars to our medical staff working long shifts, often doubles, under high pressure with limited resources.

Jesse Rowan Malua Bay

Jesse about to leave with Patient Transport for Canberra

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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